Talk 05: Are We Confessing Our Faith or Our Ego?
Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas
(Duration: 1hr 59min)
Saint Paul says that anyone who wants to live the life in Christ will be persecuted. Are there Orthodox Christians today enduring persecution for Christ’s sake? Is it necessary for those in the West to prepare for persecutions? Orthodox Christians are confused about when to speak up, when to confess the Faith and, in general, what their attitude towards the heterodox and the non-Christian world should be. In particular, what should our attitude be towards those who wish us harm or want to convert us to their faith?
In this talk, Father Kosmas uses a number of examples from the lives of the saints to show how Orthodox Christians lived in non-Orthodox areas, with pagans, Muslims and Christians of other faiths and how they dealt with hostility towards Orthodoxy. He also explains why some openly confessed their faith while others kept their faith secret. He explains that, even though Orthodox Christians of the West are not subject to open persecution, they have many subtle opportunities to either confess or deny Christ in their everyday lives.
The following questions are also discussed: are we called to express our faith in every circumstance? Does sometimes hiding one’s belief mean betraying Christ? Are contemporary Orthodox Christians actually denying Christ from fear of mockery? Can the upbringing of children be considered martyrdom? Why is there so much confusion surrounding sexual sins?
Other topics covered in this talk include: spiritual ignorance; external Christianity; spiritual pride; deceptive piety; the dangers of quoting the Holy Canons; how God sees our efforts versus our achievements; the difference between homophobia and sin-ophobia; and how to deal with lukewarm Christians.
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